Have you ever *not* bought a sweater from a store or catalog because you thought you could knit it yourself?
While looking through the latest collection of catalogs that have started to clog my mailbox in anticipation of the holiday season, I realized I can no longer look at Knitted Objects in any catalog without first dissecting how they are constructed. Then I decide whether or not I can knit them. This mental game, which began when I started knitting, has become more and more gratifying: if I can figure out how a commercial sweater has been knit, (1) I feel fairly confident I can knit it and (2) I don't have the urge to buy it!
For example, my favorite store is J.Jill. I swear that half my wardrobe is from this store because they carry petite sizes in such cute clothes that can easily go from weekend (very important) to weekday. All right, I will end the plug there. Anyway. Look at the interestingly named Textured Purl-Knit Cardigan to the left. I can knit that. Chances are, I can buy the cotton yarn at a discount for less than the $68 retail price (labor cost is another matter). But why buy something as simple as a reverse stockinette, nay, Purl-Knit, sweater for that much?
On the other hand, please look closely - you'll need to click on the link to zoom - at the intriguing Hooded Aran Isle Cardigan from the Sundance catalog. Only $288. It looks like it is knit sideways with cables and other textured stitches. Hmmmmmm. I'd like to knit that. The sideways concept is not difficult and I've done it already. However I want to figure out how to knit the sleeves without breaking up the cable pattern. I've seen a shrug pattern in IK that is similar so I'm going to do a little research.
Would I consider buying the $288 "Aran Isle"? Heavens, no. I enjoy spending money but even I think that's excessive. I would rather spend the cash on good yarn to knit it myself. Natch.
Until the next day in the life...